East County Sports

Griffins stun Comets; Jaguars top Spartans

2019 COMMUNITY COLLEGE MEN’S BASKETBALL

By Nick Pellegrino
East County Sports staff writer

SAN MARCOS (1-12-2019) – Among the 12 schools in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference, state-ranked Southwestern and San Bernardino Valley colleges enter the weekend on 5-game winning streaks.  No surprise.

Name the next hottest ballclub?

Introducing the Grossmont Griffins, which captured their second straight contest with a rare road triumph at Palomar, 60-59, in Friday’s (Jan. 11) final outing before PCAC divisional play commences next week.

Two straight wins may not be a lot, but after opening the season winless in 13 outings, capped by a 30-plus-point setback to Fullerton, the top-rated program in Southern California, no one is complaining after the Griffins won for the third time in five starts.

Sophomore guard Marc Cabrera scored on a go-ahead layin with 19 seconds remaining to re-claim the lead in a tight second half.

The Comets then missed on their shot from the paint, with Cabrera grabbing the rebound and getting fouled with 3 seconds to go.

Only one problem for the Comets: it was only their third team foul of the half.

The game’s final moments took nearly seven minutes to complete thanks to a series of timeouts (four of them) by both clubs. However, all Palomar could ultimately do was foul twice more, but Grossmont simply took the ball out-of-bounds before time on the Palomar Dome clock expired.

Cabrera finished with 16 points, 6 rebounds and 4 steals. The leading scorer for Grossmont was small forward Josh Peloquin with 17 points. Lamon Hudson added 10 points and a game-high 6 assists, while Marquell Cool added 9 points from off the bench.

For Palomar (6-11), Jamario Harris paced all scorers with 21 points, but none over the final 8 minutes. Included was the miss in the final seconds.

Marek Sullivan added 13 points for the Comets, Michael Chatman had 10, but the Palomar bench recorded a mere single point.

Grossmont mounted a 12-point lead, taking a 35-25 lead into the break. The Griffins advantage then went to 44-33 before the Comets rallied with seven straight points during a 14-3 run, capped by a Harris layin to tie the contest at 47-all with 11:20 remaining.

Neither team led by more than three the rest of the way, with Palomar taking a 59-58 lead on a 3-point goal by Hunter Petty (Harris assist) with 51 seconds left. But Cabrera scored on the next possession to decide it.

Southwestern 77, MiraCosta 63:  At Chula Vista, the visiting Spartans gave the Jaguars everything they could handle for 30 minutes , holding a well-earned 40-37 halftime lead over the No. 7 ranked team in the Southland.

However, Southwestern scoring leader Marq Stephens awoke late, registering 16 of his game-high 18 points in the second half. Included were 12 over the final 12:24, initiated by a go-ahead layin for a 52-51 lead.

Trailing most of the way, the Jags got even at 49-all, then Tyler Simmons hit a foul shot for the lead. with 13:48 left. MiraCosta answered on a Thomas Donati layin at 13:04, but the Jags closed on a 27-12 run, as Stephens matched the Spartans scoring point-for-point to take over the ballgame.

All five starters for Southwestern (14-4) reached doubles figures in scoring. The others were: Jordan Cooke (13 points), Quincy Ferebee (12), D.J. Wilson (11) and Nathaniel Pearson (also 11).

MiraCosta (9-9) saw Xavier Allison shared in scoring laurels with 18 points. Allison also grabbed 9 rebounds and posted 5 assists.

Also for the Spartans, reserve guard Devyian Roberson scored all of 12country (4-for-4 shooting from beyond the arc), while Tre Morgan added 10.

Desert 86, Cuyamaca 53:  As they say in that famous Warner Bros. cartoon, “Beep! Beep!,” after the Roadrunners again out-witted Wile E. Coyote.

At Palm Desert, the host Rodrunners of College of the Desert (9-9) leveled their record by posting their largest margin of victory this season. The previous best was a 17-point decision at Rio Hondo.

Desert saw lightly used reserve Marquete Eddie explode with a game-best 19 points from off the bench. It was the second-highest effort of his career (25 vs. Oxnard). A dozen of Eddie’s points came in the first half when Desert took a 42-26 lead.

Eddie seized at the moment to produce.

“It was crazy, I kind of knew it was going to happen,” Eddie explained. “You know. I mean (Cuyamaca) gave up on rebounds and it was easy.”

Eddie scored several times on putbacks after he out-hustled the opponent to secure an offensive rebound, then going right back up to the basket to score.

“On that second (free throw), I missed on purpose because they were playing lackadaisical defense. Those guys were busy looking around and I took the opportunity.”

Among the COD starters, Nicholas Pete led with 12 points, while Sam Skipper and Gunner Mogolis each added 11.

“I just got the ball and when I passed to my teammate, I was like, I have faith in you, when you throw it up, I’ll take it down,” said Peter a sophomore forward. “I was like, this is the dagger, I want to end it now, I want to end their confidence right here.”

For Cuyamaca (3-15), Moses Smith and Frankie Gutierrez each scored 9. Smith also led the Coyotes with 9 rebounds.

Note: East County Sports thanks the contributions from the media relations personnel at College of the Desert and Palomar colleges.

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